Happy Birthday to David Dyson – born April 3, 1965 | David Dyson

David Dyson is an American bassist, songwriter, arranger, and producer.Throughout his career he has performed with an array of artists including New Kids on the Block, Meshell Ndegeocello, Lalah Hathaway, Pieces of a Dream, George Duke, Regina Bell, Jonathan Butler, Najee, Candy Dulfer, Rick Braun, Gerald Albright, Norman Brown, Bobby Lyle, Doc Powell, and Michael Franks.

Early life

Born David Reeves Dyson on 3 April 1965 in Rapid City, South Dakota. When he was two years old, his family relocated to the Washington metropolitan area where he was raised and attended school. Dyson played the baritone (euphonium) in school, but was inspired to switch to the bass guitar at the age of twelve after hearing recordings of Larry Graham and Louis Johnson. At the age of fourteen, he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in music. After high school Dyson attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where he received a B.A. in 1988. Although he taught himself to play bass, Dyson did take several lessons while attending college. He also learned to play the upright bass, piano, and guitar.

Musical career

After graduating from Berklee Dyson was offered a bassist position with recording artist Walter Beasley. He performed with him from 1988–1989. In the fall of 1988 producer Maurice Starr was searching for musicians for New Kids on the Block. Dyson auditioned and landed the gig. He toured with them from 1989–1992 as their bassist and musical director. In 1992 he was a bassist and composer with Chico Freeman and Brainstorm. From 1993–present Dyson has toured and recorded with Michael Franks, Greg Osby, Terumasa Hino, Gary Thomas, Kevin Toney, Takeshi Itoh, Jack Lee, and Bob James. He was a bassist with Steve Coleman and Five Elements in 1996. A bassist, composer, and co-producer with the Hagans/Belden band (trumpeter Tim Hagans and producer Bob Belden) from 1999 and presently. Dyson began touring with Meshell Ndegeocello in May 1997. He continued through 1999 and from 2001–2002. From 2003–2006 he was a bassist with Jonathan Butler.[3] He began playing with Pieces of a Dream in 2000 at a concert in Baltimore, Maryland after substituting for the original bassist. He is still performing and recording with them presently. Dyson also performed with Peter White from 2005–present, Chuck Brown 2006–2007, and Lalah Hathaway 2008–present.

In addition, Dyson was a member of the Towson University faculty as a bass instructor in the department of music. He is currently instructing the course David Dyson’s Groove Concepts at MusicDojo.com. Dyson is a faculty member of InDepth Jazz clinics & concerts and an instructor with Gerald Veasley’s Bass BootCamp and Bass Break LIVE. He is also a staff writer for Bass Musician Magazine.

David Dyson has also established himself as a solo recording artist. He is the founder and president of Lil Doc Productions and Lohandfunk Records. Dyson released Soulmates his debut CD in 2000. The Dawning, his second in 2004 and his third Unleashed in 2008.


In 2008 Dyson was presented with his first David Dyson/Lohandfunk signature series bass created by Pete Skjold. The specifications are: 5 string fretted, ash body, myrtle top, maple fingerboard, maple pick up covers and knobs, 5 piece maple/purpleheart neck, 2-SC-1 pick ups, audere 4-band pre w/5-position z-mode rotary switch – standard (also available with the Skjold/east custom pre-amp). In 2011 Dyson debuted his fretless Skjold signature series bass at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.

David Dyson also has several signature series cheesecakes created by Imagine Cheesecake. They include the Banana Candy Supreme and the Triple Chocolate Mocha Bass Kiss.


  • New Kids on the Block – Step by Step (1990)
  • Chico Freeman & Brainstorm – Threshold (1992)
  • Jack Lee – Gracefulee (1993), Where My Heart Goes (1996), Into the Night (1997), Message From Paris (2000)
  • Norman Hedman – Flight of the Spirit (1994)
  • Takeshi Itoh (“TK”) – Groove Island (1994), T.K. Covers (1995)
  • Hino/Kikuchi Quintet – Moment (1996)
  • Masabumi Kikuchi/DJ Katsuya/DJ Hiro – Raw Material No. 1/M. Kikuchi (1996)
  • Steve Coleman – Genesis (1997), The Opening of the Way (1996)
  • Lee Eun Jeo – Monotone (1996)
  • Bob Belden/Cassandra Wilson/Javon Jackson/Dianne Reeves – Strawberry Fields (1996)
  • John Stoddart – Love So Real (1997)
  • Bob Belden – Tapestry (1997), Black Dahlia (2001)
  • Various Artists – Drums Project on the 3 (Jpn) (1998)
  • The Shekinah Music & Arts Academy Mass Choir – Perfecting Our Praise (1998)
  • David Dyson – Soulmates (1999), The Dawning (2004), Unleashed (2008)
  • Scritti Politti – Anomie & Bonhomie (1999)
  • Suttle Thoughts – Caribbean Nights (1999)
  • Tim Hagans – Animation/Imagination (1999)
  • Meshell Ndegeocello – Lilith Fair Vol.3 (1999)
  • K’Alyn – CoCo (1999), The Beauty Of (2002)
  • Cabo Frio – Late Return (20th Anniversary CD) (2000)
  • Marcus Johnson – Urban Grooves (2000), Just Doing What I Do (2004), In Concert for a Cause (2006), Phoenix (2007), This is How I Rock (2010)
  • Marimelj Collective – It Takes a Village (2000)
  • Hagens/Belden – Re-Animation Live (2000)
  • Jaared – Forward (2001)
  • Pieces of a Dream – Acquainted With the Night (2001), Love’s Silhouette (2002), No Assembly Required (2004), Soul Intent (2009)
  • Jack Lee & Toninho Horta – Belo to Soul (2002), Episodes with Bob James (TBA)
  • Philip Bailey – Soul on Jazz (2002)
  • Skip Pruitt – Eternity (2002)
  • Yahzahrah – Black Star (2003)
  • Ron Holloway – Live at the Montpelier Cultural Center (2003)
  • Marshall Keys – Times Aligned (2003)
  • Vince Evans – Emergence (2003)
  • Monique Steel – The Monique Steel Project (2003)
  • Yvonne Johnson – Malcolm’s Set (2003)
  • Stoney Ellis – Love Changes (2003)
  • Frederic Yonnet – Front & Center (2004)
  • Bobby Lyle – Straight & Smooth (2004)
  • Alyson Williams – It’s About Time (2004)
  • Jazziz magazine – Cool Summer vol.3 (2004)
  • Brian Lenair – The Journey (2004)
  • Art Sherrod – All 4 Love (2004)
  • Kim Jordan – Full Circle (2004)
  • Three Keys – Men in Action Against Breast Cancer (2005), Private Stock (2005)
  • Various Bassists – As One (The Tsunami Relief Project) (2005)
  • Temika Moore – Doing Just Fine (2005)
  • Jonathan Butler – Jonathan (2005)
  • Tracy Hamlin – Seasons (2005), Better Days (2009)
  • Kendall King – For a Reason (2005)
  • Keith Ailer – Solacoustics (2005)
  • Peter White – Playin Favorites (2006)
  • Rick Braun – Yours Truly (2006)
  • Nolan Williams – Inspirations (2007)
  • Benjie Porecki – How Does It Feel? (2007)
  • Jackiem Joyner – Baby Soul (2007)
  • Al Williams – Heart Song (2008)
  • Najee – Rising Sun (2009)

Official David Dyson Website

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